Do you find it increasingly difficult to recruit the best available talent for open positions, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak? As the overall hiring landscape changes in Singapore due to the pandemic, it’s imperative for companies to make sure they focus on employer branding. Communication with potential candidates needs to be optimised for a world that expects more transparency every day, and this will become even more pertinent when the market recovers eventually.

Candidates now have more access to information than ever before; a quick search online can quickly weed out companies with a positive social media profile, good culture, a bad one or not much personality and culture at all. Because of this power of information, when going through the hiring process with you, candidates should be able to understand the role they are applying for, along with the mission and what it’s really like to work for you.

Biggest challenges in hiring in Singapore

Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director of Michael Page Singapore outlines the biggest challenges for companies hiring today. “The three biggest challenges that companies face in hiring the right talent in Singapore are: too many candidates, evolving technologies and the cost of hiring the wrong candidate. In response, companies need to refine their recruitment process. This can mean drilling down to something as simple as the job advertisement.”

This job advertisement should highlight company culture, the value proposition for the company and training and development opportunities. Potential employees should have a clear idea of what their career development will look like once they are actually in the role – which can be the differentiator when choosing between several opportunities.

Communicating a clear purpose and vision

The next step in attracting the right talent is ensuring that you have the answer to one crucial question: What does your company stand for? This is one prevailing question that candidates want to know when vetting a new company. Aside from the role itself, salary package and benefits, it is becoming increasingly important for professionals to understand who it is they are working for – and what that company stands for.

As Khandelwal points out, “All companies need a purpose and vision – and they must communicate those effectively to prospective employees.”

You may not have a clearly defined vision for the company yet, or perhaps it’s simply a matter of changing the external communication around that vision. If you look at the most successful companies on the market in terms of who people want to work for, it’s not only the companies with an excellent company culture – but those that know how to communicate that culture to the outside world.

This communication can include information about collaborative working environments, the type of technology that is used throughout the company, management style and how teams interact. Take every opportunity to show what a day in the life of your company is. Candidates now truly consider this meaningful information and actively seek to find it.

In Singapore, we are starting to see that companies are more effectively attracting talent by sharing the experience of current employees. This can be through pictures and videos posted on various social media channels, articles in the media, or the About Us section on their websites. This content is easily accessible and relatable. Having this information easily discoverable allows professionals to get a clear picture of the company culture on their own, rather than relying on the few people they meet during the interview process.

Humanising the recruitment process

A conversation about recruitment these days is not complete without discussing technology. Automation, machine learning and AI are already making a difference within the hiring process in disruptive industries such as fintech, and will only continue to be a bigger part of recruitment.

However, it’s important not to let technology take over the entire process and replace humans completely. Instead, technology should be used to support and expand recruitment capabilities, allowing companies to seek out the best talent on the market that they may not have had access to before.

Above all, while we are talking about the developments in technology and AI, the whole recruitment process needs to be humanised as much as possible. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but an effective one. Technology can be used to speed up the overall hiring process, by screening initial candidates more effectively, or by removing bias in some of the initial hiring stages. There are roles that will be more easily evaluated by AI, those technical roles especially, but a larger part will be more focused on soft skills and aspects such as cultural fit.

These aspects require the humans within the process – the recruiters, companies and professionals – to interact as effectively as possible. Khandelwal puts it simply, “Even with the rise of AI and other technologies, companies should avoid robot- like thinking and humanise the recruitment process to be successful in making the right hire.”

High tech solutions should be utilised to improve the overall recruitment process, and bring a better experience to potential candidates, recruiters and hiring managers.

Read more in our Future of Hiring series.

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